Experiencing History: Books and BeyondPresentation Transcript
Experiencing History: Books and Beyond Annie Downey, Frances A. May, Michelle Mears, & Jon Smith University of North Texas Texas Library Association Conference Dallas, Texas April 16, 2008
The day begins…
High school students enthralled on a summer Saturday?
World War II Agenda Intro: Definition of community. Discussion on community and how that is something we will be looking at all day. Students will do an ice-breaker where they brainstorm and list communities they belong to. Display case tour and posters. Discuss posters as propaganda: were they tools for brainwashing or for community building? Divide into small groups to make posters for our time. Film clips Discussion: What’s my motivation? People’s motives at the time. Examine and discuss Kathe Kollwitz prints. Audio clips Uniforms and Re-enactors Community building through letter writing. Read example letters. Discuss letter writing as a form of communication and community building. Students pick one object and describe the object in a creative way in a letter on Vmail paper.
Context Creator:World War II Display Cases . Miniature Nazi propaganda books, a Hitler stamp, and a Nazi medal
Activity: Letters At the end of the day, each student was asked to imagine they were a person in the war and to write a vmail letter as that person.
Activity: Letters Dear Bob, I am doing well in my situation. The boys are coming in by the truck loads. The hospital (or what’s left of it) is doing fine also. Hitler is a horrid man. By our records 1.9 million Poles have died. The Romas have lost 220,000 people. Many of the disabled have also been killed, even though it was “outlawed”. Disabled children are also being killed; more than the disabled adults. What has our world come to. Our God created the world in seven days and we have managed to destroy it within years. How will this be stopped? I only pray for my boys. That’s all I can do. Why can’t the Nazi party give up? That way we can all go home and be dandy! Here is a single white rose to represent all the dead Jews, Poles, Romas, Jehovas Witnesses, Homosexuals, disabled, Blacks, and Soviets. With lots of love, Abigail, R.N.
5 UNT students who collect WWII uniforms and do re-enacting of the war came dressed in their authentic uniforms. They showed our high school students what it was really like for American soldiers during the war. All of these students volunteered their time and expertise after reading about the workshop.
The students enjoyed trying on pieces of the re-enactors uniforms and equipment. This was the highlight of the day for Ian, above.
Susan was surprised at how heavy the equipment was. The re-enactors explained that WWII soldiers often shed some of the heavier equipment as the war went on and they learned what the true essentials for battle were.
Enemies of History Agenda Intro: Definition of preservation and how it relates to the study of history. Film clips Stamps and coins Comic books Wedding dresses / fabric Oral history Photography and digital images Books
Context Creator:Film Clips
Discussion Topic: Stamps & Coins In the Beginning…
…there were coins (after sheep, goats, horses, and cows, of course.)
Originated around 700 BC, in Lydia or the Aegean Islands and in China
Struck with the images of rulers of the time
Discussion Topic: Stamps & Coins Examples of Old Coins Profile of Septimus Severus, AD 201 DeaCaelestis riding a lion… water gushing from a spring – indicates construction of an aquaduct, AD 203.
Advent of Paper Money Invented by Chinese around 1000 years ago First wide-spread use in the West in early 1700s in France Easier to carry than coins (or horses, cows, sheep, goats….you get the picture.)
French Banknote, 1941
Stamps First postage stamp created by Great Britain in 1840 US printed postage stamps in 1847 First US commemorative stamps in 1893
Earliest Commemorative Stamps – U.S. - 1893
France and Monaco
Discovery of North America
Comic Book Storage Methods
Activity: Wedding Dresses Fabric preservation:
A new gown should be cleaned as soon as possible after it is worn.
Packing for storage
A good dry cleaner should use inert, acid-free products.
Store on hanger or boxed.
Store in an area with minimum fluctuations in temperature and humidity, good air circulation and a minimum of light.
You should take your dress out of storage each year and inspect it.
Opening one of the wedding dresses. Edward is careful to demonstrate proper fabric preservation techniques while opening the dress.
Students examined the wedding dresses and discussed the time periods of the dresses. Also talked about problems with the preservation and what could be improved.
“Traditionally packaging practices used to dictate the use of blue tissue paper. Blue tissue paper has no special ability to prevent aging or insect damage, but it is esthetically pleasing…. it is much better to use white acid-free paper.” (http://dept.kent.edu/museum/staff/wedding.html)
Wedding Dresses Part II There was not enough time to open all the dresses in the workshop. We held a second dress opening for library employees.
Revealing a professionally preserved wedding dress. Notice the wrinkles.
Activity: Oral History
Read compelling oral histories aloud.
Explained how oral histories are taken.
Divided the students into groups and gave them a person to interview.
Provided some questions to get them started.
Michelle Mears, Archivist, preparing the oral history equipment.
Activity: Oral History Resources:www.storycorps.net StoryCorps is a national project to instruct and inspire people to record one another's stories in sound. http://www.loc.gov/folklife/ The Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center has many collections that include oral histories. The Veteran’s History Project is particularly powerful. http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/oralhist/ohhome.html Using Oral History Lesson Plan from the Library of Congress. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/mse/oral/ Making Sense of Oral History offers instruction on using oral history interviews as historical evidence.
Contact Information Thanks for attending our presentation! For more information, contact us: Annie Downey (email@example.com) Outreach Librarian Frances May (firstname.lastname@example.org) Coordinator for User Education Michelle Mears (email@example.com) Archivist